Category Archives: Best Of

Best of The 2000s

This post is inspired by a friend’s Facebook status: “has been reading reviews for the best songs of the decade. What are your picks?”.  I couldn’t really think of any one song that was clearly my favorite so I came up with a few categories.  I listen to the radio a lot because I usually listen to music in the car so this list consists of mostly rock/pop songs.

Best Boy Band Song
This I Promise You – ‘N Sync (2001)

At the end of the 90s, we saw the rise of Boy Bands: ‘N Sync, Back Street Boys, 98 Degrees.  They even tried to put one together using a reality show (O-Town aka OMG These Guys Are Terrible – Town).  As we journeyed into the 2000s, individuals from these bands pursued their own careers.

This I Promise You, IMHO, was the best song put out by a Boy Band.  It was also composed by Richard Marx who had quite the run in the 80s.  Which leads me to my next catagory…

Best 80s Remake
Land of Confusion – Disturbed (2006)
Notable Mention: Time After Time – Eva Cassidy (2000)

There are remakes and then there are remakes.  A lot of times, remakes are not as good as the originals.  But sometimes, an artist puts their own spin on an already great song and the result is even better than the original.

This title was held by by Alien Ant Farm for a few years with their remake of Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal which is still one of my favorite.

Eva Cassidy’s version of Time After Time was recorded in 1996 but released in 2000 four years after her death.  The first time I heard it was on the Smallville soundtrack.

Best Single by a Latin Artist
Hero – Enrique Iglesias (2002)
(Also Best Video with Jennifer Love Hewitt in it)

In the 2000s, we also saw the rise and fall of Latin artists coming ‘cross the border and making waves in American pop.  This is my favorite song from those artists.  (And did you see Jennifer Love Hewitt in that video?!)

Best Break Through Song (“Holy ****, Who Is This!?”)
In the End – Linkin’ Park (2002)
Bring Me to Life – Evanescence featuring Paul McCoy (2003)
Decode – Paramore (2008)

This category is for songs that I heard and immediately tried to find out who the artist was.

The early 2000s were very good for many rock/pop bands.  Many of them didn’t have hits on the radio later in the decade.  But bands like Linkin’ Park and Evanescence have been able to stay current and continue to build their fan-based.  Paramore is a new comer who I think can/should have a great 2010s.

To me, Linkin’ Park and Evanescence, in some way, helped shape rock in the 2000s.

Best One Hit Wonder
For You I Will – Teddy Geiger (Confidence)

Great songwriter.  Great talent.   Great album.  (Seemingly) Great future.  Then… nothing!

Did You Know?  Teddy Geiger was the “talent” on the cable show Love Monkey.

Best Cheesy Song
I Believe in a Thing Called Love – The Darkness (2003)

Haven’t heard it?  Google/YouTube it.  You’ll hate me later.

Best Guilty Pleasure
You Below With Me – Taylor Shift (2009)

It doesn’t get more cheesy teen-pop than this but I just love singing to this song.

Best Pop Country Crossover
Who Says You Can’t Go Home – Bon Jovi (featuring Jennifer Nettles) (2006)

In this decade, we also saw  country become more and more mainstream.  In fact, turn on a country station and you might not even be able to tell.  So many country songs could easily be pop songs.  And so many new country artists sound like rock.

Who Says You Can’t Go Home is my favorite crossover.  Hey, who says you can’t be a 20+ year old band and build new fan-base by venturing into another genre doing a duet with an up-and-coming artist (of that genre).

Most Overplayed/Annoying Song
Vanessa Carlton – A Thousand Miles (2002)

 I’m sorry.  I just can’t stand this song!!!!  Why does she have to be so whiny!!!  ARGH!!!  This song was overplayed the first time it was played.

Best Name Drop In a Song
Tim McGraw – Taylor Swift (2006)

Mmm… let’s say you’re young, hot, (some what) talented and trying to break into the industry.  What’s a good way to get your song noticed?  I know!  Drop a name of someone famous who’s already in the industry.

I mean, sure, there’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere (Alan Jackson drops Jimmy Buffet) and names are dropped left and right in rap songs.  But how many chicks says “hey, when you think of some macho dude, think of me”?

Best Collaboration
Santana w/ Everybody

This category really should be “Best Song Santana Wasn’t On”.   Seriously, though, as a guitarist, I love the concept of the rotating lead singer! 😀

Best Song You Wouldn’t Sing In Front of Your Kids
Simple Plan – Addicted (2003)
Pink – U + Ur Hand (2008)

‘Nuff said.

Best Radio Hit with Interesting Musical Changes
Spin – Lifehouse (2002)
Outkast – Hey Ya! (2003)
Ocean Avenue – Yellowcard (2003)
That’s What You Get – Paramore (2008)

If you’ve seen some of my other posts, you’ve probably noticed that I really enjoy the theoretical/thinking side of music.  I love pop radio which usually tends to lack “musical depth”.  So I love it when I hear a song with some interesting twists.

Spin – Most songs on the radio follow a very predictable pattern of 4.  That is, phrases tend to repeat after 4 measures/chords and/or they repeat in multiples of 4.  In the verses, the pattern repeats every 3 instead of 4.

Hey Ya! – This is another great example of changing how the count.  This pattern repeats every 5 1/2 measures and it does this through the whole song.

Ocean Avenue – There isn’t a lot of playing with numbers and count on this one.  I just love the rhythm the guitar is playing on this song on the verses.  It’s almost like a prog rock song.

That’s What You Get – Another example of changing count.  On this one, the song starts out as 6/8 then switches to 8/8 for the chorus.  Check out the counter patterns between the drums and bass on the verses.

Best Emo Songs
Fall Out Boy – Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down (2005)
Dashboard Confessional – Stolen (2007)

I think Emo was started way before these songs hit the radio.  Perhaps like many sub-genres of rock, it started kind of underground.  Then someone (ie record executive) realized it’s marketable and got these bands on the radio.  Dashboard Confessional actual had hits before Stolen but this is my favorite of theirs.  Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down was kind of a game changer for me.  At that point, I realized Emo was here to stay.

Best Stripped Down Song
Plain White T’s – Hey There Delilah (2007)

Simple.  Acoustic.  Crowd Pleaser

Best Songs I Like To Play
For You – Staind (2001)
Rooftops – Lostprophets (2006)

These are just some of the songs that I seem to gravitate to when I’m just messing around on the acoustic.

Best Song by a Comedy Act (Stand Up Only) Shown on a HBO Special
Think About It – Flight of the Conchords (released on album 2008)

What’s wrong with the world today?!?

Best Songs from a Movie
Falling Slowly – Once (2007)
Decode – Paramore (2008)

Some people might recognized Falling Slowly from Amierican Idol (covered by Kris Alan).  If you haven’t seen it, you got to check out the movie Once.  Awesome soundtrack.

The first time I heard Decode was at FYE waiting at the check out line.  They were actually showing a video of it and (as I mentioned above) I went “Holy ***!”  These guys are awesome!  I love the drumming on this song (listen for the snares).

Best American Idol Contestant Song
So Small – Carrie Underwood (2007)

My wife and I are big American Idol fans.  And we pretty much like everything American Idol.  But if I had to choose one, I would go with So Small.

This leads me to my next set of categories.  I figured I’d rate artists too…

Best American Idol Artist

First American Idol rocker to do well on radio.

Best New Artist
Anna Nalick

In 2005, a brand new artist came on the scene with a song called Breathe (2AM) (a song way that should be too long for radio, BTW).  A year or so later, on Oct 6th, she performed at NorthernLights. After a great performance at the meet-and-greet/CD-signing, she wrote and sang happy birthday to me because it was 2 days after my birthday.  🙂

Paramore has already won in a few categories. It should not be a surprise that I think they’re one of the hottest new acts.

Best Come-Back Artist
Kylie Minogue

Remember Locomotion in the 80s?

Best Band with a Number
Five for Fighting

Quite a few bands with numbers in their names came out in the 2000s. But I think Five for Fighting is my favorite. I still love to play Superman and Easy Tonight

Best Why Does This Person Have A Career?!
Ashley Tisdale

Need I say more?!